There’s no doubt that technology can both help students learn more effectively and teachers plan their curriculum efficiently. However, fully integrating IT into the classroom or higher learning establishment is a challenge. The question is, however, what can we do about it?
Challenges the education sector faces when it comes to IT
Teachers have been facing the pressure of IT adoption for at least a decade, but there are numerous obstacles still facing the education sector.
1: Change isn’t easy
Teachers and faculty must cooperate with the introduction of technology, but not everyone is open to change. Whether it’s lack of tech knowledge or simply a preference for traditional teaching styles, IT isn’t attractive to everyone.
What’s more, teachers often lack the time to incorporate technology – a recent survey showed that, between juggling students and lesson plans, 43% of respondents couldn’t make time for introducing new tech.
What does this all mean? Put simply, classroom and education tech must be user-friendly and quick to run. It’s on MSPs to streamline their tech offerings and make them more attractive to the education sector.
2: Inadequate knowledge and training
There’s no point in introducing new technology into the classroom if teachers and faculty staff lack the knowledge to properly implement it.
Cost-effective training and IT updates must be made available to education sector workers if there’s any chance of them using IT to its advantage and revolutionizing classroom learning.
3: Technology v personalized learning
Studies show that students who receive personalized learning radically outperform those who don’t. Learning is personal, but the technology available doesn’t always give teachers the freedom they need to help students learn at their own pace.
Students and teachers should use tools such as ongoing self-assessments, email, and virtual classrooms. Materials can be made available over the cloud and accessed whenever a student is ready to move on to the next topic.
4: Integrating technology into formative assessments
Reports suggest that around 40% of first-year teachers want to utilize technology for formative assessments, but there’s a lack of understanding around how to implement the technology and use it properly.
Faculty should be shown how simple tools, such as webcams and Google forms, can be used to observe students performing tasks and test their knowledge through online quizzes.
5: Funding and support
Funding is a significant issue for education providers looking to incorporate technology into the classroom effectively. Nearly 25% of US school districts lack high-speed internet, and low-income areas are particularly affected.
Cost-effective, scalable IT solutions clearly must be made available. This may involve teaching students and faculty how to take advantage of the IT systems they have.
There must be adequate security across the entire IT infrastructure, from the end-user to the vendor. Striking a balance between online educational tools and cloud offerings and robust cyber protection requires an effective strategy.
To help, MSPs and providers can reinforce best practices regarding security, including password management and encryption. There must be compliant with data protection regulations, and institutions should use both software and physical safeguards to protect data.
The future for technology in the education sector
The good news is that the sector does seem ready to embrace IT and all the ways it can benefit student learning and simplify admin tasks. However, more must be done to educate school districts on the latest IT developments available and how they can introduce these tools in a cost-effective way.
For more information on how you can tackle the IT issues surrounding the education sector, or for more advice on our tech service offerings, contact us today.